Tips For Looking Expensive On a Fashion Budget

When people think of fashion they tend to think of expensive labels and assume that in order to look good you have to spend money on name brand clothing.  Many people believe that if they don’t have enough money to spend on designer labels then they have lost their shot at looking chic.  However, looking good on a budget is completely possible with the right strategies. Continue reading Tips For Looking Expensive On a Fashion Budget

3 Tips for Dressing During the First Trimester of Pregnancy

You’re pregnant! Hooray! But you’re not quite announcing that you’re expecting yet, so you don’t want people to be able to look at you and suspect that you’ve got a little bun in your oven, right? This is exactly what dressing for the first trimester of pregnancy is all about.

Because of the chances for complications in the first few months of pregnancy, many women don’t announce that they’re pregnant until a little later on when you can finally start to really tell that there’s a baby growing in their belly. However, even before that bump appears, your body is changing and growing, making it difficult to be comfortable or find something flattering to wear. So to help you feel great even while trying to hide a blossoming body, here are three tips for dressing during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Find The Happy Medium With Tops

Before you get the distinct pregnancy belly, you’ll likely get a little belly pooch that looks more like you’ve simply put on a few pounds around the middle. When this happens, it can be challenging to find shirts that fit well. At this stage, Paula Motte, a contributor to BabyCenter.com, recommends avoiding tops that are either too tight or too loose. Tight tops will accentuate the curves you might want to be hiding at this point in the pregnancy, and loose tops can make you look bigger than you actually are. That’s why, to look and feel your best, try shirts that are reasonably flowy but also retain a decent shape.

Know How To Adjust Your Waistline

Just like your little belly is making it hard to find shirts that work well for you, it’s also making it increasingly difficult to get your pants to fit as well. However, many women don’t want to jump straight to pregnancy pants or leggings when they’re still just at the beginning of a pregnancy. This is when it’s good to know how to make the waist of your pants work for you. Editors of TheBump.com share that in order to get your pants to feel secure around your waist, try using a belly band that will allow you to wear your pants unbuttoned without revealing that you’re letting them out. Or, if you’re in a pinch, you can always try using a hair tie as a makeshift waist elongator to give yourself a few more inches between the button of your fly and the buttonhole.

Give Your Chest The Support It Needs

Your belly’s not the only thing that’s growing in the first trimester. As your bra size also starts to go up, EverydayHealth.com recommends getting a larger, more comfortable bra that your chest can grow into as your pregnancy goes on. You could also try wearing more roomy sports bras to help keep things under control while also staying comfortable during this trimester.

If you’ve just recently become pregnant and aren’t sure how to dress in the beginning of your pregnancy, use the tips mentioned above to help you look and feel great for these few weeks.

Things You Should Do When Starting an Online Store

Starting an online store is ridiculously easy. Seriously, if somebody tries to charge you thousands for installing an eCommerce solution, just smack them. The hard part is getting search engines to care (ranking), getting customers to actually buy things (conversion), and keeping them coming back again (retention).

Here are 8 things you should do or consider when starting your own online store; but most are neither quick, nor easy – eCommerce is tough!

Choose Your System Carefully

Steer clear of specialized custom solutions built on obscure and old code – choose a system that’s popular, well supported, with a good community behind it, and which produces stunning looking shops. If you want to avoid any contact with code, a hosted platform like Shopify is a cinch to get up and running.

Optimize, Optimize & Optimize

Slow page load times mean loss of customers. If you’ve gone for a hosted solution when starting an online store, there’s not much you can do on this front and probably won’t need to – but when you’ve set up shop using WordPress or another self-hosted system, optimizing the page load speed is absolutely essential.

Be Unique

At the very least rewrite all the product descriptions, and put your own spin on them; ideally, take your own product images. If you’re retaking product images anyway, take some from every angle and use this jQuery plugin to make a 360 view that can be rotated.

Check Out The Competition

This doesn’t just apply to eCommerce of course, but any website. Search a keyword you’re hoping to establish yourself in, and compare the results. If the pages are badly designed and outdated, congratulations – you’re in with a good chance of success selling in that niche, but you should still consider how you would be better if someone else decided to enter the space.

If they’re beautifully designed and clearly doing well, think long and hard about whether you can genuinely compete with them. What can you offer that they don’t already achieve?

Pay Special Attention To SEO

Bloggers have it easy – they can develop a persona, write hundreds of words a day of unique content, and if it’s good enough, they will come. eCommerce isn’t like that unfortunately – it’s particularly vulnerable to SEO problems, and many online stores have found themselves struggling in the relegation zone after the last few years of Google algorithm changes. Why?

  • Product descriptions tend to be short, leading to a small amount of actual on-page content – which can be considered “low quality” by search engines. Read more below on how to expand page content.
  • Product variants such as size or colour can generate unique URLs with effectively duplicate content. These should all be canonical(ised?) back to the main product page.
  • Products in multiple categories create duplicate URLs; again, ensure you’re using rel-canonical.
  • Product categories often span multiple pages and thousands of products – make sure all the items are indexed with correct use of rel=next and rel=prev tags.

Expand Page Content With Customer Input

Simply having a product image and short paragraph of description text is not enough anymore – but you will have a powerful resource that probably lies untapped – customers. Don’t underestimate peoples desire to share their opinions and actions shots of the product – especially if you offer prizes to the best submissions each month.

Black Milk Clothing, an online clothing business hosted at Shopify, is a great example of this. Each product has a distinct hashtag assigned, and the products themselves are incredibly “shareable” – you want to show them off.

When users share a photo and tag it on Instagram, it’ll appear on the product page. Why limit yourself to one product photo when you can have 20?

Implement Structured Data & Videos

Structured data or “rich snippets“, is special code added to a page to describe the kind of content – this might include videos, or average customer reviews. Include this markup on your page, and Google may use it (no guarantee) when the page appears in the search results.

Don’t just be another search result – stand out from the crowd!

Get a Social Presence

A little cliché perhaps – but everyone and their dog has a Facebook, and your store should too. It’s another direct marketing tool that you can and should use: interacting with customers, answering questions in an open and public way, offering sneak peaks into future products that will go on sale soon, and giving discounts.

Also consider pinning your best items to Pinterest, which is increasingly being used to drive sales.

It should also go without saying that a set of social share buttons on every page is basically essential at this point in time. Oh, and our free guide to marketing through social media is a probably a thing you should download, too.

No doubt about it – starting an online store that’s successful is tougher than ever, but these tips should help you somewhat on the path to sales success.